Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) has awarded University status to three NHS Lanarkshire clinical departments in recognition of life-changing research, education and service excellence.

The partnership between the University and NHS Lanarkshire is believed to be the first in the UK based around wider healthcare collaboration, rather than medical education alone.

This latest development sees University status presented to the health board’s departments of podiatry, psychological services and stroke care at University Hospital Monklands by GCU Principal, Professor Pamela Gillies CBE, and Chair of NHS Lanarkshire, Neena Mahal, at a prestigious awards ceremony in Glasgow.

Professor Gillies said: “The University is privileged to present University status to three of NHS Lanarkshire’s clinical departments in recognition of their collaborative and innovative approach to vastly improving the health of individuals, communities and society.

“Both Glasgow Caledonian University and NHS Lanarkshire work in partnership for the Common Good in order to develop and nurture the health practitioners of tomorrow, whilst carrying out impactful research to provide practical and progressive solutions to the health challenges that our societies face”.

Neena described the new University status awards as an “exciting development in NHS Lanarkshire’s partnership with Glasgow Caledonian University and testament to the ambitious and innovative collaborative approach we have taken over the last three years”.

She added: “I am immensely proud of the commitment and collaboration of our newly-named University departments of podiatry, psychological services and stroke care at University Hospital Monklands and congratulate everyone involved in this very well-deserved accolade.

“This now provides the perfect platform for further enhancing our excellent partnership working, which has – for example – seen the successful appointment of lecturer practitioners who both teach at the University and work within our clinical departments.

“This is making a real difference for the health professionals and clinical practice of the future, which ultimately, will allow us to continue to innovate and improve the health and wellbeing of the people of Lanarkshire”.

In 2017, groundbreaking partnerships were struck between NHS Lanarkshire, GCU and the University of the West of Scotland. All three of the region’s hospitals – Hairmyres, Monklands and Wishaw – were given University status and renamed.

The landmark strategic relationship is aimed at achieving excellence in clinical services for the common good, working collaboratively to transform lives by delivering proven, innovative health and social care, enriching communities and innovating for health, social and economic impact.

It means NHS Lanarkshire has access to world-leading scientists at GCU’s School of Health and Life Sciences, which is among the top 20 universities in the UK for health research in stroke, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, HIV, sexual health, drug use and misuse.

Dean of GCU’s School of Health and Life Sciences, Professor Andrea Nelson, said the latest round of University status given to the three NHS Lanarkshire departments recognises the “very strong and established” research and education links with GCU.

She added: “Universities work with partners in the NHS across the west of Scotland, not only to develop the health professionals of the future but to deliver the knowledge they will use to guide better care and preventive interventions.

“We are delighted that the already strong collaboration with one of our key stakeholders, NHS Lanarkshire, can be recognised in these particular areas of strength and highlights the fact that these units, not only deliver excellence in service, but also in research and education for our future health professionals”.

Calum Campbell, chief executive of NHS Lanarkshire, concluded: “Our partnership with the University has led the way in showing what can be achieved by taking a holistic approach to health education, research and development.76516486337

“I applaud the success of our three University departments, which are leading the way and delivering excellence in clinical outcomes, education and research.

“I’m sure their success will help us attract the best talent to NHS Lanarkshire and I have no doubt other departments will follow suit in the near future”.

University status is granted to the three departments for three years and will then be reviewed.